Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Ambiguous; equivocal.
  • noun A word or an expression that is equivocal, or susceptible of several meanings.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Signifying many different things; of manifold meaning; equivocal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Having many different interpretations, meanings, or values.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin multivocus ("expressed by many words"), from multi- + form of vocare ("to call").

Examples

  • For now, the occupy movement remains multivocal, and the previous opinions represent only a glimpse of the growing cacophony of voices at Chicago's General Assembly.

    Mark Cassello: Occupy Chicago Regroups After Recent Success

  • Postmodernists, on the other hand, are more multivocal in their viewpoint, holding that the ownership of concepts and words is less important than their relevance to culture-making; in art, for example, postmodernists will "appropriate" from anywhere and everywhere, and by redefining the context of the works or snippets, create something new (Andy Warhol's soup cans, above: using "fine art" painting methods to appropriate canned soup).

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • For now, the occupy movement remains multivocal, and the previous opinions represent only a glimpse of the growing cacophony of voices at Chicago's General Assembly.

    Mark Cassello: Occupy Chicago Regroups After Recent Success

  • Postmodernists, on the other hand, are more multivocal in their viewpoint, holding that the ownership of concepts and words is less important than their relevance to culture-making; in art, for example, postmodernists will "appropriate" from anywhere and everywhere, and by redefining the context of the works or snippets, create something new (Andy Warhol's soup cans, above: using "fine art" painting methods to appropriate canned soup).

    Borges: Pathways of the (Postmodern) Mind

  • What are the advantages of such a multivocal narrative over one told through a single voice?

    A Mercy by Toni Morrison: Questions

  • Instead, the Court was “multivocal” with “many separate judicial voices raised in opinion to constitute Court decisions” p.3.

    Reviewed: Maveety on the Rehnquist Era and Hoffer on The Treason Trials of Aaron Burr

  • Yet neither could I construe this history as multivocal or multivalent, as a set of parallel and/or contending voices, narratives, or meanings of Mozambique's past.

    Where Women Make History: Gendered Tellings of Community and Change in Magude, Mozambique

  • They shrieked, yelled, blared, shrilled, and boomed the scandals and horrors of the moment in multivocal, multigraphic clamor, tainting the peaceful air breathed by everyday people going about their everyday business, with incredible blatancies which would be forgotten on the morrow in the excitement of fresh percussions, though the cumulative effect upon the public mind and appetite might be ineradicable.

    Success A Novel

  • Whenever I meet with an ambiguous or multivocal word, without its meaning being shown and fixed, I stand on my guard against a sophism.

    The Literary Remains of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • A useful instance to illustrate the importance of distinct, and the mischief of equivocal or multivocal, terms.

    The Literary Remains of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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